Our 3 1/2yro son has been having a rough two weeks (if not longer). I think all the changes in the house are getting to him. Hubby’s office was moved into the den, and the office is in the process of becoming the nursery–the baseboard is getting replaced, new closet doors, painting is started, etc; plus, there’s the impending baby brother, and I’m home from work on maternity leave. He seems to be a bit out of his mind. He’s not sleeping well–he has nightmares almost every night, even twice a night, and his naps are shortened as well. Yesterday he had almost no nap at all, and today it was a mere 30min or so. He is pale and has dark circles under his eyes–he looks tired–but attempts to help him sleep better so far aren’t working.
He also has been just an emotional basket case over little things. The other night, he started having a tantrum at bedtime because he couldn’t put the books back on the shelf easily enough. This has been typical the last few days–he tries to do something, but only barely, then begins wailing “I CAN’T!” I usually calmly ask him to use words and try again; if he continues to freak, I walk calmly out of the room. I did that yesterday over a different issue, and eventually he came into the room with me and said, “I’m sorry, Mommy. Would you come play with me in my room now?” Once that tantrum was averted, he was kissed goodnight and all was quiet for about 10min. Then we hear him screaming “Mommy! Mommmmmy! Daddy!” Hubby and I tear in there to see Son is beside himself because…the pillowcase was partially off his pillow. And there are many more such incidents in recent history. The next night, he freaked at around 2am because his pillow was half behind the headboard. Thankfully today he’s more agreeable, but definitely tiiiiiiiiiiiiiired.
Last night he had an awful nightmare at around 10pm or so; screaming and sobbing in terror and difficult to console. I had taken Tylenol PM to help me sleep as I’m dealing with pregnancy-induced insomnia, so I only vaguely heard this and wonderful, wonderful hubby went in to console him. Apparently he had to pick Son up and rock him in the rocking chair and sing to him before he could put him back to bed.
He also has been waking up butt early–sometimes 5:00am–whimpering “I’m scared!” and such. Some other times he’ll go into freak out mode because of some minor frustration (can’t reach the soap to wash his hands in the bathroom, etc.). We go in and comfort him, and tell him he can play until it’s wake up time (sun comes up), and he does, usually. But this is wearing on me. 34 weeks pregnant, recovering from bronchitis, already struggling to sleep, and already a bit stressed myself about he nursery and baby coming…gah.
He seems to be feeling out of control of his environment, so everything that is related to that freaks him out. So what do we do to help him so we ALL can get some rest around here? (And good LORD what are we going to do when the ultimate change–baby brother–shows up?)